Last week, I posted a piece about the new Adobe Photoshop 2021 Sky Replacement tool. The blog piece was posted here and on social media. In that piece, I shared my enthusiasm for the new feature added to Photoshop that allowed you to change the sky in your image.
Here’s one of the images I used. I thought the new sky really finished this off.
What I found out next was that there were people out there who not only didn’t share my enthusiasm for this new feature but had very strong negative feelings about it. The term “Fake” was used repeatedly.
This caught me off guard and surprised.
First, off guard because I thought this feature to Photoshop would be seen as a cool new thing and surprised because I didn’t realize anyone actually read these things that I write.
Then I thought initially the anger was because we’ve all been cooped up in our homes quarantining for the last 7 months and the general tension levels are high. The more I thought on it though, the more I felt the need to speak out.
Please understand, I am not trying to defend myself; like me, my work, or don’t, that’s your choice and has nothing to do with me.
What bothers me is this reeks of artistic censorship.
Now if someone presents themself as Photojournalist or a Documentary Photographer, then they should be capturing renderings of reality, hopefully with an artistic angle. For them to seriously alter an image is cheating and in my opinion, should not be allowed. If you tell me you are capturing reality, it needs to be real. We’ve all seen instances in the past few years where images used for journalism had been altered in an attempt to sway public opinion in a particular direction. I think that’s reprehensible.
If you are an artist, the world is your canvas. When in a discussion, I always tell people I am a digital artist; not because I’m not trying to sound cool, but because the term seems more removed from the reality of a “Photographer”
So, now let’s discuss “Fake Art”
Here’s that image again with the replaced sky.
If I didn’t tell you I replaced the sky, would you know? If you like this image, should you like it less because that sky wasn’t there when I pressed the shutter button?
How about this one?
Did I replace the sky? Were those trees really there? Was it two trees originally, or did I duplicate the one? Should you not like it until you know?
How about this one?
I made this in one of my favorite places, Isla Mujeres.
Were those clouds really there when I took this? Does it make a difference?
No, It should not.
Oh, and for the record, the last two images had no replaced sky or duplicated trees. I did channel swap the IR image though, hmm maybe that’s bad.
This is ART! Like it or don’t, it’s still ART.
I see images every day that I don’t really appreciate or think is that well done, but I will defend that artist’s right to create it.
SO, if you don’t want to use something like Sky replacement . . . . DON’T!
But don’t run down someone else who does. Your negative words can hurt people.
I just remembered an old joke we used to tell as kids that fits.
“What do you call a guy hanging on a wall . . . Art! (hea, hea)”
“What do you call a guy hanging upside down on a wall?
. . . No matter how you look at him, it’s still Art”
If a guy tries to sell you the Mona Lise out of his trunk, now that’s fake art.
Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? Leave a comment, but keep it clean.